Living Environment January 2013

Living Environment January 2013 Question Answer Keys

The University of The State Of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 — 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., only
Student Name _____________________________________________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________

Directions (1–30): For each statement or question, record on your separate answer sheet the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question.

1. Which two cell structures work together in the process of protein synthesis?

  • (1) nucleus and chloroplast
  • (2) ribosome and vacuole
  • (3) nucleus and ribosome
  • (4) mitochondrion and cell membrane
Answer: (3) nucleus and ribosome 

2. Prions are proteins that act as an infectious agent. They cause a variety of diseases, including “Mad Cow” disease. Prions cannot produce more prions on their own, but cause the host organism to replicate more prions. Most scientists do not consider prions to be alive. A valid reason for accepting that prions are nonliving things is that

  • (1) no living thing can cause a disease
  • (2) proteins are inorganic molecules
  • (3) prions contain all of the material needed to reproduce
  • (4) prions cannot carry out reproduction independently
Answer: (4) prions cannot carry out reproduction independently 

3. Which molecule can diffuse from the digestive tract into the human bloodstream without first being digested?

  • (1) protein
  • (2) starch
  • (3) fat
  • (4) glucose
Answer: (4) glucose 

4. The nucleus of a cell coordinates processes and activities that take place in the cell. Which two systems perform a similar function in the human body?

  • (1) nervous and endocrine
  • (2) digestive and reproductive
  • (3) circulatory and respiratory
  • (4) skeletal and muscular
Answer: (1) nervous and endocrine 

5. The letters in the diagram below indicate some parts of a cell.

Living Environment January 2013

The function of which cell part is most similar to that of the human excretory system?

  • (1) A
  • (2) B
  • (3) C
  • (4) D
Answer: (1) A 

6. In the summer, the arctic fox appears brown because its cells produce a dark pigment. However, in the winter, the arctic fox appears white because the dark pigment is not produced. The color change is most likely due to the effect of

  • (1) different genes produced in the different seasons
  • (2) increased pollution on genetic mutations
  • (3) environmental conditions on gene expression
  • (4) poor nutrition on cell growth and development
Answer: (3) environmental conditions on gene expression 

7. Many years ago, a scientist grew pea plants that produced wrinkled peas. The peas from these plants produced new plants that also produced wrinkled peas. The scientist concluded that something in the parent plants was being transmitted to the next generation. This discovery is now known as

  • (1) genetic engineering
  • (2) biological evolution
  • (3) heredity
  • (4) natural selection
Answer: (3) heredity 

8. The process represented in the diagram below occurs in many cells.

Living Environment January 2013

The main function of this process is to

  • (1) provide an exact copy of the genetic code
  • (2) ensure genetic variation in a species
  • (3) synthesize cellular proteins
  • (4) produce antibodies to combat disease
Answer: (1) provide an exact copy of the genetic code

9. The Old English Bulldog is extinct. To produce a new English Bulldog, dogs having the desired physical features, but not the aggressive nature of the old bulldogs, were mated. The result was a bulldog that was similar in appearance to the extinct bulldog, but without its fierce nature. Which technique was most likely used to develop this new variety of dog?

  • (1) cloning
  • (2) inducing mutations
  • (3) genetic engineering
  • (4) selective breeding
Answer: (4) selective breeding

Base your answers to questions 10 and 11 on the diagram below and on your knowledge of biology. The diagram represents the human female reproductive system.

10. Structure A usually produces

  • (1) sperm and eggs
  • (2) testosterone and eggs
  • (3) estrogen, progesterone, and eggs
  • (4) estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone
Answer: (3) estrogen, progesterone, and eggs

11. The placenta forms from the combination of fetal tissue and tissue from structure

  • (1) A
  • (2) B
  • (3) C
  • (4) D
Answer: (3) C

12. Which factor has the greatest influence on the development of new, inheritable characteristics?

  • (1) combinations of genes resulting from mitosis
  • (2) mutations of genes in reproductive cells
  • (3) sorting of genes during asexual reproduction
  • (4) recombining of genes during differentiation
Answer: (2) mutations of genes in reproductive cells

13. In 2007, scientists broke open a fossil of a dinosaur bone and found some preserved tissues. Analysis showed that some proteins in these tissues are very similar to proteins found in modern chickens. The conclusion that these dinosaurs are related to modern chickens is based on

  • (1) molecular similarities
  • (2) natural selection
  • (3) similarities in behavior
  • (4) the occurrence of mutations
Answer: (1) molecular similarities

14. The diagram below represents the bone arrangements in the front limbs of three different species of mammals.

Living Environment January 2013

The similarities and differences in these limbs suggest that all three species developed from the same ancestor, but

  • (1) produced different numbers of offspring
  • (2) lived in different time periods
  • (3) adapted to different habitats
  • (4) migrated to similar habitats
Answer: (3) adapted to different habitats

15. For those individuals who have an allergic reaction to cats, a company in Los Angeles promises relief. They offer a new line of cats genetically modified to eliminate or reduce their allergy-causing properties. The development of this new line of cats most likely involved

  • (1) using natural selection to produce a new variety of cat
  • (2) altering the reproductive rate of cats
  • (3) changing the behavior of cats
  • (4) manipulating the DNA of cats
Answer: (4) manipulating the DNA of cats

16. Which process allows a mammal to continue to grow in size?

  • (1) mitosis of sex cells
  • (2) mitosis of body cells
  • (3) meiosis of sex cells
  • (4) meiosis of body cells
Answer: (2) mitosis of body cells

17. In 1970, a deadly disease spread through corn crops in the United States. Scientists discovered that 80 percent of the corn contained the gene that made the plants more likely to be infected with the disease. This problem might have been avoided if the cornfields across the country had had more

  • (1) large predators to control parasite populations
  • (2) selective mutations
  • (3) genetic diversity
  • (4) breeding of infected plants
Answer: (3) genetic diversity

18. According to the fossil record, which statement is accurate?

  • (1) Most of the species that have lived on Earth no longer exist.
  • (2) Most of the species that have lived on Earth still exist today.
  • (3) Fossils of species that never existed can be found.
  • (4) Fossils of species that never existed, but will exist in the future, can be found.
Answer: (1) Most of the species that have lived on Earth no longer exist.

19. An organism that reproduces asexually will have offspring that have

  • (1) the same genetic information as both of its parents
  • (2) different genetic information from either of its parents
  • (3) the same genes as its parent
  • (4) different genes from its parent
Answer: (3) the same genes as its parent

20. Some sea slugs store chloroplasts obtained from algae they have ingested. The chloroplasts continue to carry out photosynthesis within the slugs. What advantage would this activity be to these sea slugs?

  • (1) The slugs with chloroplasts can synthesize some of their own food.
  • (2) The slugs with chloroplasts no longer need to carry out respiration.
  • (3) The chloroplasts provide the slugs with camouflage that protects them from UV radiation.
  • (4) The chloroplasts contain enzymes that allow the slugs to digest starch.
Answer: (1) The slugs with chloroplasts can synthesize some of their own food. 

21. The energy released when sugar molecules are broken down is stored in

  • (1) minerals
  • (2) ATP
  • (3) DNA
  • (4) wastes
Answer: (2) ATP

22. Responses of the immune system to usually harmless environmental substances are known as

  • (1) antigen production
  • (2) chromosomal mutations
  • (3) pathogens
  • (4) allergies
Answer: (4) allergies

23. People have been warned about the dangers of excessive exposure to radiation during certain medical procedures. The most likely reason for this warning is that radiation exposure might

  • (1) result in gene mutations and uncontrolled cell growth
  • (2) cause the rejection of transplanted organs
  • (3) increase body temperature by two to five degrees
  • (4) prevent the transport of materials into cells
Answer: (1) result in gene mutations and uncontrolled cell growth

24. A scientist was studying a population of fish in a pond over a period of 10 years. He observed that the population increased each year for 3 years, and then remained nearly constant for the rest of the study. The best explanation for this observation is that the population had

  • (1) stopped reproducing
  • (2) reached carrying capacity
  • (3) mutated into a different species
  • (4) run out of food and migrated to a different pond
Answer: (2) reached carrying capacity

25. Increased human population growth usually results in

  • (1) a decrease in the need for farming
  • (2) a need for stronger environmental protection laws
  • (3) lower levels of air and water pollution
  • (4) an increase in natural wildlife habitats
Answer: (2) a need for stronger environmental protection laws

26. Four levels of an energy pyramid are represented below.

Living Environment January 2013

Which statement about this energy pyramid is correct?

  • (1) Organisms in level 4 receive their energy directly from the Sun.
  • (2) Organisms in level 2 are carnivores.
  • (3) Organisms in level 2 receive their energy from level 3.
  • (4) Organisms in level 1 are autotrophic.
Answer: (4) Organisms in level 1 are autotrophic.

27. Growing exotic (nonnative) plant species in parks and gardens could lead directly to an increase in the

  • (1) biodiversity of the autotrophs that feed on them
  • (2) populations of native carnivores
  • (3) competition between them and native producers
  • (4) breeding between them and native herbivores
Answer: (3) competition between them and native producers

28. Scientists have been concerned about the reduction of shark populations due to overfishing off the east coast of the United States. Sharks feed on rays, which feed on scallops. Scallops feed on microscopic algae, which they filter from seawater. Without sharks, the rays consume and eliminate scallop beds, harming the scallop fishing industry. This situation demonstrates that

  • (1) sharks are not important for the stability of this ecosystem
  • (2) reducing the shark population increases the quantity of scallops that can be harvested
  • (3) humans can upset ecosystem stability by removing species
  • (4) humans improve ecosystem diversity by removing predators
Answer: (3) humans can upset ecosystem stability by removing species

29. The diagram below represents changes in the sizes of openings present in leaves as a result of the actions of cells X and Y.

Living Environment January 2013

The actions of cells X and Y help the plant to

  • (1) maintain homeostasis by controlling water loss
  • (2) store excess heat during the day and remove the heat at night
  • (3) absorb light energy necessary for cellular respiration
  • (4) detect changes in the biotic factors present in the environment
Answer: (1) maintain homeostasis by controlling water loss

30. The diagram represents the changes in an area over time.

Living Environment January 2013

This series of changes in the area over hundreds of years is known as

  • (1) evolution
  • (2) feedback
  • (3) ecological succession
  • (4) direct harvesting
Answer: (3) ecological succession 


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